Sam Abbas has served as GAO’s principal Analyst-in-Charge for responding to Congressional mandates and requests for analyzing and evaluating the U.S. Postal Service. Abbas has helped develop GAO testimonies and reports on the Postal Service’s financial viability, excessive capacity, capital investments, options for funding retiree health benefits, and delivery performance, among other issues. Abbas graduated from Coe College in 1997 with a B.A. in Political Science and Secondary Education and from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy in 2000 with a concentration on education and economic development.
Dan Barrett has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing management, both with the United States Postal Service and in the private industry. Since joining the Postal Service in 1998, Dan has held a number of marketing and technology positions related to the organization’s package growth, focused on Priority Mail and ground delivery. Currently, Dan oversees the Postal Service’s Customer & Market Insights department, enabling a deeper understanding of the customer and the marketplace by combining research, synthesis, and stakeholder engagement. In this role, he strives to identify new opportunities for growth, inspire customer empathy, and facilitate new efforts to improve customer experience. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Virginia Tech, and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
Brody Buhler is a senior executive with 11 years of experience working on United States Postal Service programs. Currently, Brody has responsibility for Accenture’s work in the Intelligent Mail and Address Quality and Expedited Shipping organizations. Brody also has responsibility in Accenture’s global Postal industry practice with deep experience in mail visibility, mailings services and revenue protection and serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom).
Bernhard is the Managing Director of the Postal Innovation Platform (PIP), an initiative focusing on the future for the postal industry with a solution-oriented approach. PIP operates under the umbrella of an academic research center (EPFL-MIR based in Lausanne, Switzerland), the Universal Postal Union, and Swiss Post. It is an open platform inviting all postal industry stakeholders to join, contribute and thus create innovation, value and solutions for the postal sector. He previously worked for the Austrian Post as Director of Regulatory Affairs, and served as the Director of Inter-company Pricing and Regulation at the International Post Corporation in Brussels for over five years. Among his current activities Bernhard is also a management trainer, moderator at various conferences and the co-editor of a publication on postal services in the digital age.
Bernhard is also an entrepreneur, who founded and manages Vinaficio, an e-marketplace that supports European wineries. Studying and working on eCommerce and cross-border issues for many years Bernhard put his knowledge to practice and launched together with his partners his eCommerce company which connects today buyers and sellers across nine European countries, providing full logistics, payment, tax and duty administration support. Bernhard holds a LL.M from George Washington University and a J.D. from the University of Graz, Austria.
Co-founder and Managing Director of Ursa Major Associates, LLC, the leading postal-parcel-logistics strategy consultancy, as well as the Founder and Chairman of The PostalVision 2020 Initiative and Conference designed to Re-invent the American Postal Ecosystem.
John founded and grew pioneer international courier service, Calico Air Courier, merged it into DHL Worldwide Express and served DHL as VP Marketing. He served TNT Skypak as President and Purolator Courier as SVP International and SVP Marketing and Sales. He created re-mailing firms International Remail Inc. and Belgian Distribution Systems and organized New York Air Courier Clearance (NYACC) for expedited customs clearance of courier consolidations. He served venture-backed Milestone Systems, creators of Click & Send, as Chief Operating Officer and introduced online shipping to USPS leading to its highly successful Click-N-Ship application. He served DHL Global Mail Americas as VP Strategy and Business Development.
As consultant, John served PricewaterhouseCoopers’(PwC) postal practice as thought-leader on strategy projects for USPS; including the Expedited Packages Business Plan that created Parcel Select; International Business Unit Strategic Plan that created the Postal Service’s first-ever competitor alliance with DHL and its innovative co-branded express product Global Express Guaranteed; as well as PostOffice Online. For the USPS-OIG, John served as contract consultant thought-leader on USPS parcel strategy, retail strategy, intellectual property strategy and digital mail strategy. He co-authored the whitepaper “The Postal Service Role in the Digital Age – Expanding the Postal Platform” with OIG economists.
Private sector clients have included industry leaders Pitney Bowes, FedEx, DHL Global Mail, Neopost, Aramex, as well as many small firms and start-ups.
John is a frequent speaker at international postal conferences, e.g. PostalVision 2020, PostExpo, World Mail & Express. He has published OpEds on postal reform in The Hill, has been interviewed as a postal expert on NPR Marketplace, CNBC, eCommerce Bytes and has authored articles in numerous trade journals, e.g. World Mail & Express Review, e.g. “Customs Clearance: Can There Ever Be a ‘Level Playing Field?”
Mr Callan is active in industry trade associations; Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), Parcel Shippers Association (PSA), International Mail Advisory Group (IMAG), Global Address Data Association (GADA),). He served on the US Dept. of State Advisory Committee on International Postal and Delivery Services (FACA) from 2009 – 2013.
James Campbell is an independent legal consultant and author of numerous papers, books and testimony on domestic and international postal regulatory issues. His recent projects include surveys of national and international postal laws and practices for the European Commission; a study of the history and development of postal law and the postal monopoly in the United States for the Postal Regulatory Commission; advising FedEx on U.S. postal reform and international postal policy; and consulting with the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service. Mr. Campbell began his career as a staff attorney for U.S. Senate working on airline deregulation. In 1976 he joined DHL and led efforts to reform national and international postal, customs, and aviation regulations that impeded the development of the then fledgling international express industry.
Mr. Campbell was born in 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from Princeton University and Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author of many articles on postal policy and a book on postal policy and the express industry. For more information, see www.jcampbell.com
Hamilton Davison is the President & Executive Director of the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), a group he co-founded after catalog mailers were hit with huge postage increases in 2007. Since then, Davison’s actions with ACMA have led to far more moderate postage for catalogs. He works closely with the U.S. Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission to educate and inform officials about the catalog business model, incentives for greater mail volume, and the role of catalogs in shaping consumer perceptions of mail.
Throughout his tenure at the helm at ACMA, Mr. Davison has driven testimony before a variety of government bodies including Congress and filed numerous briefs on postal, tax and privacy matters on behalf of the catalog industry. Davison has testified before House and Senate Committees and Subcommittees, and before a Presidential Commission on the US Postal Service. He has made numerous lobbying visits to both sides of the aisle and both houses of Congress.
A serial entrepreneur and former private equity CEO, Davison has had a long history of involvement with industry trade associations, serving in various leadership roles including heading up postal policy committees, as a director, executive committee member and as chairman.
Davison’s involvement in postal affairs dates back nearly two decades. He organized a summit with then-PMG Marvin Runyon and major industry CEOs. At the invitation of the Deputy Postmaster General, Davison participated in a Mailing Industry Task Force Steering Committee charged with outlining ideas for future postal relevancy and success to the USPS Board of Governors. He was one of a group of eight CEOs who advised the Postmaster General during the Anthrax crisis and on responding to the challenges post-September 11. He was a founding member of the Mailing Industry CEO Council and served as its Secretary & Treasurer from 2002-2006. Davison also championed and sold the Forever Stamp to many in the mailing industry, including proposing it to the Chairman of the Board of Governors
Davison now sits on the board of directors for the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom) and is an active participant in the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), both organizations of which ACMA is an association member.
Davison has consulted in a wide number of industries and held executive and operating positions in manufacturing, distribution and consumer goods companies, including founding a retail chain and turning around then scaling a publishing company. He serves as a director for a public company, sits on an investor advisory committee for a private equity firm, and is involved in a variety of charitable and nonprofit boards and committees.
Ramesh Ratan is CEO and member of the board of directors of Bell and Howell, a leading global provider of multi-channel communications and commerce solutions. He is also a member of the board of directors of BCC Software LLC, a Versa Capital company.
Previously at Pitney Bowes, as President, Marketing Services Solutions, Ramesh developed a new business platform to drive revenue growth via partnerships with global marketing data services providers. As President of the $600 Million Pitney Bowes Document Messaging Technologies business, he drove profitability and revenue growth by consolidating multiple country organizations and integrating three acquired companies into a single global business unit.
Earlier, as Chief Operating Officer at the Direct Marketing Association, Ramesh led a new growth strategy focusing on data- and analytics-driven marketing. His prior roles included President, Americas of Vocaltec, the company that pioneered Internet telephony, and senior executive roles at Lucent Technologies, where he led the development and launch of the Saras Softswitch business. He created the first prototype within two months and negotiated the first industry contract for $250 million. Within one day, this deal added $8 billion in market value to shareholders.
In his early career, at Bell Laboratories in roles from founder of the AT&T Consumer Lab to Director, Lucent Bell Labs Technology Management Science Center, Ramesh directed the design and implementation of over 6,000 consumer experiments in video, Internet and communications services that lead to product and service innovations generating an estimated $40 billion in AT&T revenue over ten years.
Ramesh received a BSc in mathematics and graduated 1st class with Distinction and Honors at the University of Poona in Poona, India. He also received an MBA with honors from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, a program established as a partnership with Stanford University and obtained a PhD at the University Of Pittsburgh.
Lori Rectanus is responsible for GAO’s portfolio of work assessing USPS’s efforts to ensure its viability and accomplish its mission. Rectanus has worked on several initiatives dealing with the USPS, fulfilling Congressional requests and inquiries, and has testified before Congress on issues related to the USPS’ financial challenges and its delivery vehicle fleet.
Art Sackler of Sackler Brinkmann & Hughes LLC (SBH), and the PRIMAPACT Group LLC, has had a long career in public policy and law. Previously, he was a Principal in Ford & Huff LC, Vice President/Law and Public Policy for Time Warner Inc. (TW), General Counsel to the National Newspaper Association and had run his own firm. He has run trade associations and coalitions, among them the National Postal Policy Council, the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, the Interactive Travel Services Association, Open Allies for Airfare Transparency, the Mailers Council, and the Coalition to Preserve the American Copyright Tradition, as well as having been a representative to many others. He has served on US Delegations and Advisory Committees about intellectual property, services, trade, privacy, and postal affairs. Focusing on media/entertainment, postal affairs and travel, he has a BA and JD from Syracuse, and an LL.M. from Georgetown.
Jim Sauber, Chief of Staff, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), James is responsible for coordinating the research, collective bargaining, public policy and legislative activities of the union at the direction of NALC President Fred Rolando and on behalf of the union’s 275,000 members. Returning to PostalVision 2020, Sauber also will participate in discussing policies around the future postal ecosystem.
Linda Sherry, Consumer Action’s director of national priorities and one of the organization’s chief spokespersons, joined the San Francisco-based national consumer education and advocacy group in 1994 from a background as a weekly newspaper reporter. Consumer Action, founded in 1971, has a national reputation for multilingual consumer education on personal finance issues. Sherry is an expert on credit card pricing and practices. She is regularly called upon for interviews and background information by the national and local media (TV, radio and print), Congress and federal regulators to provide information about consumers and credit cards.
Sherry, who moved to Washington, DC, in August 2004 to establish an office for Consumer Action, is responsible for the research and writing of Consumer Action’s free educational publications and for the content of the organization’s web site. Her most recent projects for Consumer Action include publications on personal finance, bankruptcy, banking, credit repair, insurance fraud, Internet privacy, cell phones and investing vs. savings.
Sherry coordinates Consumer Action’s popular annual pricing surveys of rates for bank and retail credit cards, prepaid phone cards and long distance telephone service. She is the editor of Consumer Action’s newsletter, Consumer Action News. Sherry has received awards for Consumer Action publications from the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (Excellence in Consumer Education, 1996, 2000 and 2003) and U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs (1995 National Consumer Week).
Before joining Consumer Action, Sherry was managing editor of AsianWeek in San Francisco from 1991-1994. Previously she was a reporter at The Almanac newspaper in Menlo Park, CA; The New York Times Long Island Section and The East Hampton Star in East Hampton, NY. She is a founding editor of the Sag Harbor Herald, a weekly newspaper based in Long Island, NY.
Kathy has worked for over 30 years in the postal industry, starting with 11 years at the USPS, then transitioning to a variety of industry roles including Vice President of the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), before starting her own consulting business in 2000. For the past 18+ years, she has provide consulting services to PostCom and other mailing industry associations, as well as mailing software vendors, service providers and mail owners. She now serves PostalVision2020 as Director of Community and Brand Development Director.
Matt Swain is a Senior Director at Keypoint Intelligence, a market intelligence firm born out of the combination of InfoTrends and Buyers Lab. Mr. Swain is responsible for driving global research and consulting initiatives in the customer communications market. Extensive annual business and consumer research—in addition to studies conducted for the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General—helps Mr. Swain bring a unique perspective to this event. Mr. Swain received a Bachelor of Science in Imaging and Photographic Technology, as well as a Master of Science in Print Media from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Robert G. Taub was designated Chairman upon his reappointment as a Commissioner on December 12, 2016, for a second term, following his nomination by President Barack Obama and confirmation by the United States Senate. At the time of his designation and reappointment, he had been serving as Acting Chairman since December 4, 2014. He was sworn in as Commissioner in October 2011, following his nomination by President Obama and confirmation by the United States Senate. The Commission elected him Vice Chairman for calendar year 2013. Chairman Taub has more than 30 years of experience in public service. When first appointed as a Commissioner, Mr. Taub had been the Special Assistant to Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh since October 2009. In this role as an Army Department senior executive, he was one of the principal civilian advisors to Secretary McHugh, helping him oversee a workforce of more than 1.2 million people, and manage an annual budget over $200 billion. He was awarded the Army’s Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service.
Before his appointment to the Army, Mr. Taub served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative John M. McHugh (R-NY) for the preceding decade. As Chief of Staff, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of Representative McHugh’s staff and offices in Washington, D.C. and Northern New York State. In a variety of leadership roles on the U.S. House Oversight & Government Reform Committee for 12 years, Mr. Taub also worked closely with Congressman McHugh on matters relating to the nation’s postal and delivery sector. He crafted Representative McHugh’s legislation for modernizing America’s postal laws for the first time since 1970, culminating in passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in 2006. Mr. Taub also helped Representative McHugh conduct hearings and investigations into postal operations that ultimately led to the enactment of a dozen other postal laws.
During his tenure in public office, Mr. Taub has addressed numerous national and regional conventions of postal employee organizations, mailing industry groups, and government and academic conferences both in the U.S. and abroad, on issues confronting the postal sector. The Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service, postal employee unions, and mailing industry associations and nonprofits have all recognized Mr. Taub with several awards and honors.
Prior to his time with the House of Representatives, Mr. Taub worked for eight years at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress. As a senior policy analyst, Mr. Taub planned and directed evaluations for the Congress on environmental, banking, energy, and defense issues. Previous to his position with the GAO, Mr. Taub worked as a staff member for three different Members of Congress, a Member of the British Parliament, and state and county officials in upstate New York.
A native of Gloversville, New York, Mr. Taub earned an M.A. in Political Science, with a concentration in American politics, and a B.S. in Political Science with Honors, both from American University in Washington, D.C. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Keith Weidner serves as Chief Counsel, Legal Policy and Legislative Advice, in the U.S. Postal Service Law Department. In this role, Keith focuses on legislative, regulatory, and other postal policy matters, including issues regarding Board governance and the Postal Service’s pension and health benefits obligations. He has been with the Postal Service since August 2004. Prior to his current position, Keith served as a staff attorney in the Rates and Corporate law groups in the Law Department, with one particular focus being the implementation of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center.
David Williams is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He served as Inspector General for the USPS from 2003 until his recent retirement in 2016. Prior to that, Williams served as IG for five federal agencies, including the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Social Security Administration, the Department of the Treasury, the Tax Administration of the Department of Treasury, and Acting IG for HUD, while he was also serving at the Department of the Treasury.